Because He Believed: Remembering Loyal Friend and Generous Supporter Jerry Davis

Jerry and Judith Davis

Jerry Davis, a generous donor who was committed to advancing cancer research and care for everyone, passed away Aug. 20 after a long battle with cancer. He was 66.

“Jerry Davis believed passionately in UF and Shands and supported our college in so many ways, with his time and dedicated service, with his leadership talents, and his personal resources,” said Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. “At UF and Shands, we are determined to find cures for cancer, and as we do, we will do so because Jerry Davis believed in us. Those of us who knew him are better human beings because of our friendship with him and his family.”

Last year Davis and his wife, Judith, made a $21 million gift to the UF Shands Cancer Center to advance research efforts and patient-care initiatives and to support construction of the $388 million Shands Cancer Hospital at UF.

The Davises’ support of the college began 12 years ago when they helped jump-start the cancer program with a $5 million gift in 1998. Their contributions have provided dozens of researchers with the latest tools needed to understand the disease. The outpatient care component of the cancer center was named the Jerry W. and Judith S. Davis Cancer Pavilion in recognition of their support.

Davis’ legacy at UF and Shands will go beyond philanthropy. He was a member of the Shands board of directors and served as chairman and as a lifetime member of the board of directors for the UF Foundation.

“He inspired to us in so many ways, and his great generosity over the years — what he viewed as an investment in hope — has helped further our commitment to our patients, our students and our scientists,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System, Good, and Timothy M. Goldfarb, CEO of Shands HealthCare, in a message to Health Science Center faculty, staff and students and Shands employees.

He is survived by his wife, Judith; their son Jerry Jr. and his wife, Candice; their two sons Cameron and Colin; their son Troy and his wife, Julianne, and their son, Jake, and daughter, Rylianne; and his brother, Gene.  — Karen Dooley

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